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Poster: cosmic charlie dupree Date: Sep 15, 2008 3:21pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Taboo topic - studio versions BETTER than live???

I know to many this will sound like sacrilege, but I've found that in a few cases, I enjoy the studio recordings of certain songs better than most (if not any) live performances. Here are a few examples for me:

Estimated Prophet - To me, the studio version is pure headphone, high volume bliss. Bobby never sounded better, and I've never found a live version to have the same force & impact. Gives me goose bumps every time....

Black Peter - While I've enjoyed many live versions, I prefer the pure Americana sound on Workingman's Dead - had it been written then, you could imagine it being played in the 19th century out West somewhere. Plus, Jerry's voice is so flawless and filled with emotion that it breaks me.

I expect I'll get some links to versions that may prove me wrong - and believe me I hope they do! And if anyone has another example of a studio they love, please share....

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Sep 16, 2008 3:02pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Taboo topic - studio versions BETTER than live???

I totally agree with Strat that the studio Unbroken Chain was far superior to any live version. The puzzle is - why? Why did they wait until 1995 before they performed it live? If they'd brought it out when they were at the top of their game, either 74 or post-hiatus 76/77 they'd have nailed it I have no doubt. If they could handle Slipknot! live they could surely handle Unbroken Chain. Does anyone know why they didn't perform it? Did some member(s) of the band resist having it included in the live sets? I'd really like to know.

If you care to have a listen, there are some fine versions to be found in the Phil and Friends repertoire, but there's still the lack of a standout Grateful Dead live version.

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Poster: spacedface Date: Sep 16, 2008 8:04pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Taboo topic - studio versions BETTER than live???

To me it seems like songs that were improvised generally were better in concert. Shorter songs and balled often did well on the albums, though some acoustic performances were better.

"Attics of My Life"
"Ripple" combo "Brokedown Palace"

"Cumberland Blues"

"Pride of Cucamonga"
Unbroken Chain
US Blues

Blues for Allah album, except "The Music Never Stopped"

"Terrapin Station" album, except Estimated which was still good and the general ending of Terrapin

"Alabama Getaway"
"Don't Ease Me In"

In the Dark album, except Touch which was good but not the same

"Built to Last" album

(the last 2 albums had some Garcia solos that shined bright though succinctly, like Throwing Stones)



This post was modified by spacedface on 2008-09-17 03:04:48

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Poster: spacedface Date: Sep 16, 2008 3:53pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Taboo topic - studio versions BETTER than live???

>>HighTime, Attics, nor BlPeter that beat the studio versions...>>

I don't remember which, but sometimes songs come in context and not just a personal one. High Times could follow something and Jerry's voice would be plaintive to a real point.

Black Peter, too, but in my experience in a crowd. Following some deal trouble in Marin the Dead played outdoors at Stanford and during some fierce passage a guy freaked out and was swinging on a tree. It seemed like Jerry wanted to bring the energy down quick and playered BP. umm, I guess my objectivity didn't recover for that song.

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Poster: Greg Carmack Date: Sep 16, 2008 5:52pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Taboo topic - studio versions BETTER than live???

>>HighTime, Attics, nor BlPeter that beat the studio versions...>>

Black Peter 5/9/81 a Brent B3 bluesfest
High Time 6/28/76 Jer and Donna are spectacular

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Sep 16, 2008 4:10pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Taboo topic - studio versions BETTER than live???

was Phil still singing during that time period or was he out of the picture vocally? I agree it would have been great.

After many years away from the dead, I saw the boys in Charlotte with Hornsby and got rewarded with two songs I never thought I'd hear - Black Throated Wind and Unbroken Chain. Almost made up for how bad Jer looked and sounded. It was a bittersweet parting...

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Poster: stratocaster Date: Sep 15, 2008 5:27pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Taboo topic - studio versions BETTER than live???

Unbroken Chain, High Time

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Poster: patourkid Date: Sep 15, 2008 6:56pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Taboo topic - studio versions BETTER than live???

I often listen to the studio stuff. I REALLY dig Workingmans,I think that has a few best for me, but it's all a matter of preference I guess.

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Poster: Styrofoam Cueball Date: Sep 15, 2008 7:21pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Taboo topic - studio versions BETTER than live???

Great topic! Although the studio versions in no way outshine their live counterparts, I really love certain elements of the studio versions of "Eyes" (starting with that lovely bent Jerry high note), "Shakedown" (awesome production brings out the guitars in a way that never seemed to happen when they played it live), "China Cat" (those weird ass drum rolls at the beginning and the hilarious backing vocals), and "Dark Star" (cuz it's under 3 minutes[!]).

Also, the first two albums have lots of versions that vary so differently from how they were played live ("The Golden Road" and "Born Cross-Eyed" for instance) that I often go back to them for their 'special sound.'

Speaking of the harmony vocals being smoother in the studio, does anyone think the Europe '72 version of "Jack Straw" was 'enhanced' vocally? The vocals seem awful purty on that version. And why does Jerry sound like a chipmunk on the Europe '72 "Morning Dew"? That's probably a question for another thread... '-)

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Poster: spring mountain high Date: Sep 16, 2008 5:35am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Taboo topic - studio versions BETTER than live???

iirc, they overdubbed vocals on europe 72, as well as skullfuck

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Poster: cave of angels Date: Sep 16, 2008 6:44am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Taboo topic - studio versions BETTER than live???

Help - I'm getting sucked into a forum!!!

If you want the ultimate fusion of great Dead vocals and live playing go back to Skullfuck. Get the remastered version and sit yourself down and hear what happens when the Dead sing well - in the studio!!! - against some of their most sublime playing ever. Evreyone playing at their peak. Check out NFA and GDTRFB - has to be one of Garcia's finest hours. Then hear the original concert without the overdubs but the whole guitar solo at the end. This could nail it - much of the Dead singing was atrocious, but when good there was little better!

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Sep 16, 2008 1:44pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Taboo topic - studio versions BETTER than live???

Not a sacreligious topic at all. To me, the ultimate example of a studio version better than ANY live one is:

CRAZY FINGERS

off Blues for Allah. To me, the album version kicks the crap out of anything they did live...more of the reggae feel comes thru, Garcia's vocals are clear and he actually gets the words right, and the instrumental bits are spot-on.

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Poster: spacedface Date: Sep 16, 2008 4:03pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Taboo topic - studio versions BETTER than live???

I would say that on Crazy Fingers, Garcia's voice was very rich with delicate phrasing. He seemed to breath the words completely with aspirant endings.

For me all but The Music Never Stopped were in top form.

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Poster: patkelleyPA Date: Sep 16, 2008 1:48pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Taboo topic - studio versions BETTER than live???

For me- Crazy Fingers is one (I've never ever heard a live version that I liked at all. Maybe once actually, but the studio is better). Another is Built to Last. I'm having a hard time coming up with any others, but I'll think of something.

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Poster: Arbuthnot Date: Sep 15, 2008 3:42pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Answer: Studio vs. Live

i can't speak to whether or not the studio version of Estimated or Black Peter is better than any live version, for two very simple reasons:

1) i haven't listened to every live version of those songs (and likely never will)
2) i haven't listened to the studio versions to those two songs in probably close to 25 years

HOWEVER, i will say that of the live versions of Box of Rain that i've heard, none come even remotely close to the studio version, and i am thinking particularly of Hunter's version on Jack O' Roses

Having said all that, it's two different experiences: live & studio; you either like studio stuff or you like live stuff; and that's all i'll say about that

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Poster: rastamon Date: Sep 15, 2008 3:48pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Answer: Studio vs. Live

whats a studio?

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Poster: cosmic charlie dupree Date: Sep 15, 2008 4:13pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Answer: Studio vs. Live

Thanks - I should have made it clear, as you did, that in no way have I heard all versions of any song. If you tried to box me into a "studio" or "live" camp, I'd definitely be in the live camp, so I'm not sure it's black & white but I hear your point. What do they say - the exception proves the rule?

I'll have to check out the Hunter version you mentioned.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Sep 15, 2008 4:13pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Taboo topic - studio versions BETTER than live???

I'll jump in an agree with you...been saying it for years around here (seriously...well, okay, only two or so).

Take most every song off the great 1970 albums and you will find this to be true.

Why?

Vocals.

The boys just couldn't cut it the way CSN&Y could live. They said it. We heard it. End of story.

Now, sometimes the jams are much more intense, and sometimes, just sometimes, the vocals on a song like UJB are good enough, coupled with the jam, for us to rank the Live version ahead of the studio, but that is rare.

Jerry often lamented their inability to really sing. He even viewed their studio efforts as subpar relative to those of a "real" vocalist. It's not just me--they recognized it as well, so that sorta ends the discussion in my book.

Now, do I think for a minute that the St Stephen of June 68 (three or so available) do not surpass those of Aoxomoxoa? Not for a minute. But, I cannot find a Box, HighTime, Attics, nor BlPeter that beat the studio versions...

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Poster: cosmic charlie dupree Date: Sep 15, 2008 4:59pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Taboo topic - studio versions BETTER than live???

William - Great to hear that Jerry and the band were aware of their vocal limitations - they are such an incredible talent and gift to American culture, but they are humans like us all which is what makes the live stuff all the more compelling. No matter how much I love exploring the depths of the live performances, I think I'll always appreciate the occasional listen to the full American Beauty and Workingman's albums, and certain songs from other studio albums (Althea, West LA Fadeaway, King Solomon's, Terrapin to name a few).

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Poster: William Tell Date: Sep 15, 2008 9:16pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Taboo topic - studio versions BETTER than live???

Absolutely a gift. Their ability to self-evaluate and reflect only add to their greatness in my book. I don't want to really start beating up on em over it, since certainly some songs were done very well live, vocals included, but for those that req'd precise harmonies and timing, they needed that studio to help them out.

And, when they came close on the vocals, the live energy could add so much more that it can be hard to even compare them.

Almost apples and oranges. Nonetheless, if I really want to impress some one with the lyrics and the harmonies, and convince them that the boys were capable of some real greatness, I grab Beauty or Workingman's and some of those vocal productions can really blow them away...